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2012 Elections Discussion

Series/Special. Representative Barney Frank; William Kristol; the American Jewish Committee. New.

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California 12, Washington 11, Obama 8, Ronald Reagan 5, Nixon 5, Us 5, Clinton 3, Gingrich 3, Romney 3, America 3, China 3, Steve 2, Newt Gingrich 2, Bob Dole 2, Obama 's 2, Nixon Administration 2, Lee 2, Dan 2, Mcgovern 1, Journal Live 1,
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  CSPAN    2012 Elections Discussion    Series/Special. Representative Barney Frank;  
   William Kristol; the American Jewish Committee. New.  

    May 6, 2012
    6:30 - 8:00pm EDT  

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talking about other groups so i didn't quite understand his answer. >> he did mention african-american voters and latino voters quite a bit. talking with him and the afl-cio i know they intend o put the year around infrastructure in state so that after the election is over they can have more people in states that are willing advocate for labor's priorities and hold local politicians to what they've said they'll do for labor unions and other working people. >> that was also the goal of organizing for the 2000 election and even they found that extremely difficult to pull off and actually was a big disappointment for the activities involved. short of hiring professional organizers, it's not clear. it's never been clear to me how that stuff works when you're
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talking about a nonelection situation. >> the other thing the regulations. i felt that mr. trumka - a couple of regulations that they've put through that would make union organizing easier. he's right the senate voting down something to overturn to speed up union elections but it's still being challenged in court. it could be reversed by a court and if that's the case there won't be anything in place to make union organizing easier and that's one less thing the labor you union will have. they're push frith. >> thanks for being with us. melanie trottman and peter wallsten. thanks for being our guests on news makers. >> tonight on q&a. >> i don't regard this as the
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biography of lyndon johnson. i'm saying, this is a coin of political power seeing what president can do in a time of great crisis. great crisis how he gathers around and what does he do to get legislation moving to take them in, in washington. that is a way to examine power in a time of crisis. i want to do this in full. i suppose it takes 300 pages in there so that's why i just said let's examine this. >> volume four. his multi volume of the 36th president. look for our second hour of conversation with him. sunday may 20th. >> this past week the congressional executive commission on china held an emergency hearing on the on-going human rights issues
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there and on-line. >> i really afraid of my other family members lives and they installed seven video cameras and even with electric fence and now he wanted to - he said that those security officers near my house are basically said we want to see what else he can do. >> watch the entire hearing on-line at the c-span video library. it's or chived and searchable. you can clip portions of the e-mail to e-mail and broad post. election sko large discuss the decline of the partisan references tuesday. both republican and democratic
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parties have divided in liberal and conservative camps. this is an hour and 25 minutes. bind >> i'm not finishing. i am hearing. good morning. my name is mr. frankel and i'm a visiting partner here and normally i focus on transportation and infrastructure but my role this morning is to welcome all of you to this conversation about the vanishing as secretary just asked me. the republican moderate. do so on behalf of the president
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of the bipartisan policy center and our colleges that bbc. i want to, i know there are lots of really important famous powerful people in this room. some vanish together be sure. but i do want to knowledge two people. i'm very pleased ron was able to be here and join us. as bipartisan policy center was established five years ago building on the national commission on the energy policy
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founded by four former senator majority leaders. who believed that while there is a critical place in the making of public policy for partisan ship and are for different views were on the barricades fighting for the things they believed in and their party pus they also believed and practiced that they had to be able to as we have been to negotiate issues through partisan regional and economic lines. mention incidentally some of you are aware of it. about a monthinging a we honored them for a combined century of service to america. and as a result and i think some of you will have or all of you hopefully have some material about a fellowship program
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that's been established in honor of senators baker and dole and their service honoring their commit known to leadership and integrity and we've established here a baker/dole leadership program that will enable talented individuals to work with experienced policy makers at bbc and we're happy to share more information with you. they've been dedicated to the principals that were so effectively carried out by this four sha extraordinary leaders. national security, health, housing. homeland security. institutional reform. the democracy project sponsoring this event and all of you are aware by the extraordinary work led by doctor
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riven on physical and economic policy on our debt reduction task force. a conversation this morning as i mentioned as part of bbc's 2011 election series organized by our democracy project in and a moment i'll introduce my coleaning that directs that project and he'll introduce our panel list and we'll moderate this event. as the invitation notes and as sean will describe this event will be followed. not sure we have a date for this. june 20. june 20. thank you on the vanishing moderate democrat and he's here. [laughing] and obviously, secretary glibbckman has the sa passion as we do today.
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we've been talking about what's happening in the republican party over the last five decades and my roll in my career for almost 25 years now has been largely devoted to transportation policy and management. i have a personal interest in this subject. 50 years ago a group of us came together to form the society. in addition to someone that will be talking in a moment and several of our colleagues in that effort are in this room and i welcome them and are glad they're here. our 50 year anniversary if that's the right word. our purpose in this was to provide vision. intellectual rigor and stimulus to reform agenda. as group that it was modeled that was happening for britain's to reor conversion is ative party. we share a taste for modder
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restoration and a deep commitment to the equal rights for all-americans on which the republican party had been founded. of course over the last four or five decades and particularly in the last 28 years or so things have not exactly developed pardon me, within the republican party as we would have imagined. also on our panel one member wrote in this book there were tactical, organizational and personal reasons that explain the dominant dynamics of republicanism over this period. i believe also there were broad social, demographic and political trends that developed in the last have of the 20th century and the first years of this century that we neither anticipated nor foresaw in 1962. all this makes for a story with obviously deep personal resonance to me but i believe also a fundamental historic
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significance to all-americans and with that. john? thank you. >> thank you all for being here. we are blessed with a wonderful panel today on moderate republicans and we'll do a similar event on june 20th and disappearing moderate democrats. i'm going to introduce the panel but let me say a few quick things which preview a report that we'll be putting out, a report on the redistricting in this cycle but an of that has to do with looking at the districts and who holds them and where republicans can hold democratic districts or like wise and the symbol headline is the fewer and fewer on both sides of the aisle and just to give you l backgroud there were seven democrats that held districts and they have
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moderate voting records. by end to decade there was one and when you come to the event on june 29th we'll have full statics as well. certainly moving in the same direction with a handful after this election who will hold districts that are very different at the presidential level and be able to hold them as someone from a connecticut republican or a - a conservative or democrat presenting a government that's out of sorts with their particular philosophy. let me introduce the panel and we'll have some introductory questions for each member of the panel and we'll have conversations and go to the audience. and i will start actually at the end here with cab service and do a plug. this is the anchor of discussion today. jeff has a book recently out
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earlier this year. rule and ruin it felt down fall of moderation and destruction of the republican party frommize energy hower to the t partea pa. this would make a great present coming up. >> members of the jury o memori. yes. the author is a historian and the author of very interesting book on king man brucer the former president of yale entitled the guardian.
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>> i'm going to turn to an expert on many issues environment included but also a historian and political scientist with background and ronald reagan and perhaps will provide a more skeptical viewpoint about the demise of moderate republicans. and finally dan vaults to my left the chief correspondent of the post. author of the battle for america 2008 and will that be for 2012 too? >> until then still work okay a title. >> covered campaigns for many years for the post but also the white house and congress. as a veteran washington
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journalist. win over many awards from various places like the american political science association and an appears regularly on shows like pbs's washington week and. i'll come down the road this way and start with jeff and ask you a broad question. not fair for me to ask you to summarize your book but i'm going to ask you do that. what was the employ pe yous behind the moderate republican movement? why did it decline and high is that a bad thing for america? >> hundred words or less contest. the impetus might be the impetus for the republican party generally. when it started was an anti-slavery party that in many ways was reform party. that continue throughs next hundred years of the party's
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development. by 1960 you could argue that the republicans or moderates held the dominant hand in the republican party. what's known now as conservative faction may have been the smallest faction. the other is the dominant party in the mid west. the moderates from larger cities of the northeast and some extent the midwest and the west coast and then the progressives that standard there was rockefeller who were largely liberal especially on civil liberties issues and mostly found in the northeast but as i said the balance of power was held during the dwight, eisenhower years and he had little use for conservatives. he said the number is unbelievable and they are stupid if richard nixon would have won
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it would have continued to be the flavor of the republican party and indeed at that point around bill buckner and william rush for example. we're not sure who would be the better vehicle for their cause. maybe a third conservative party might have been a realistic possibility. as it turned out of course the party machinery was cap nurd 19 o captured in 1964. after that there was a fight for the moderates to try to retain influence in the party and that continued throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's and in many ways richard nixon fulfilled many of the longest held goal of the moderate movement. i think moderation was something that in particular witnessed a time when moderate republicans stood for something. people like lee were inherited
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the public tradition but making a moderate movement to count tear conservative movement that they battled at first at harvard. and then eventually to make this moderation into a philosophy and operational strategy of government. i think they succeeded more than we remember. the thing that dominates is their defeat and disappear remembers and the fact that maybe they might even be forced into breeding programs to keep some of them alive. as the onion has suggested on occasion. but i think we actually do a disservice to our understanding of current politics if we don't remember what the moderates contributed. what they may contribute again. >> let me turn to lee. you were involved early on in the leadership of the society. what drew you to that movement
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and pick up on what jeff just said. this was also a youth movement or at least there was a strong component that was a youth movement. young americans for freedom and why did it a tract young people and today i think we think of moderates having a hard time attracting young people. tell us about that. >> i should share this with a number of the young people that were here. you know, maybe former moderate republicans but not former young people. still. [laughing] frankel's comments. prompted me the ko say he shoul really be speaking to this and so is john price that's here. pat gold man and friends from the same time and wanted to introduce berna that i met through the society. that maybe - beautiful.
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i think the four things with the early days just to be really quick and brief. one of the questions was are you going to be active in politics and if so in which party? and i think i came from a kind of independent background. was very attracted by fact that here is a group of young people that wanted to say interesting things. the republican party seemed to need people saying interesting things. we had the sense that, as often said the republican party had an imagine in our lifetimes up to that point to being quote the stupid party. not that it was so stupid but that it didn't project an imagine of interest and ideas. joe maccarthy dominated a lot of young people's impressions of what young people were about.
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ice eisenhower was a different figure but not a young kind of person. contrast of one of energy and age. that was one element i think. the conservatives picked up on that and the nominating young dynamic people that were interested in ideas, set of their own think tanks and so on that picked up on the same impulse. that was one element. second one i think that then the question was. can moderates being moderate get real excitement going and can they be as disciplined and fervent and as passionate as people with a clear eest identi are? we said, yes we can. we can be fiery moderates and we're fiery. that was our first declaration. what was there to be fiery about. there were two inc.s in actually. most important was the whole civil rights manner.
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i think that was absolutely at the center of the identity and sense of purpose and it did seem as though more conservative republican where is pulling a way from the party of lincoln identity. we use lincoln has a logo and all the stationary and saw a continuing republican tradition. if you get deeply in to history you can sight right through the 19th century garfields and believe it or not. teddy roosevelt of course the "bull moose" movement. if you read the one on warren harding he had progressive ideas. especially international policy. cool ij came up as a moderate. he did not bolt the party when theodore roosevelt did but he was one of the few progressives didn't run against because he was thought as a practical
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moderate guy. both of his successors as republican candidates. hoover and lander were regarded as progressive republicans had bolted in party in 1912 and came back to be nominees and then will beingy and eisenhower and nixon so. there was a tradition that seemed to resist an effort to move sharply to the right and that tradition was strongest probably on civil rights. republicans backed the civil rights bills of 65 in stronger percentage thank the democrats did. >> how - seem not to me the that at the time? >> no. think this was historical and often took the leadership is creating the bills. not people from big city constituencies but big towns in the west. >> william mack ku lee. >> very strong example.
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that was one issue or another impetus to the activeness of this group with one of our more pronounced positions the democrats were uncouple beard by the fact they had this huge southern wing and hampered the democratic party though there were many arounden civil righs s authorities and being from an aggressive as an addressing the issues early on. the third cutting edge issue i'll mention quickly is internationalism. posted againstizelationism or nationalization or conservatives part of the party that had been eisenhower's reason for wanting to come back and run for president and the fourth was something that we debateed a loot to. what extent on domestic policy do you want to repeal the
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new deal and that drove a lot of traditional republicans and more conservative republicans. dewey said if you're going to try to do that. he said the democrats will win every election and the republicans will lose every election. nixon's version was does we - we're really conservatives in a for diction that don't want one party replacing the other and bringing about a radical change. their institutions that you've lived in for a long time. maybe you live for them a while longer. you reform them but you don't suddenly steer the car to the opposite side and we tried to outline the favorite. might be a third way in terms of domestic policy and we at any number of proposals, inevitably the fourth element becomes pragmatic and involved and you get people like president reagan saying let's stop painting in
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pass cells and start painting in bold clear colors and others saying a choice is not an echo and it was hard. i think that was and remain as stumbling block for moderates to get excited about the pragmatic interest but that is a quick outline of some of the things. >> steve? so i'm going to ask you, is it a good thing there's a demise of moderate republicans or maybe so i don't make you the rockefellers garden party. something good to be said about a conservative republican party and a second question. >> two? >> really. ronald reagan can say his relationship to the moderate wing of the republican party? >> very clever you put me in the middle seat. i'm seldom in the middle of anything. i'm here to defend extremism and
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it's core of the pagan power. >> you're the best guy for that. >> [laughing] i'm reminded. it did seem to go in cycles and everyone said barry gold water was not an extremist until 20 years later liberals said he's an elder statesman figure and ronald reagan i still keep the old l.a. cartoons in the munic beer hall push saying he's going to bring back the klue klux klan and the american nazi party. it was quoted the "washington post". i know, shocking right? and vice versa. people say that about democrats too? obama is a socialist. we know all this stuff. that is a normal trouble with the political discourse that's unhelpful. often can be. however, i think i'm reminded often of eugene maccarthy's the chief purpose for the moderate
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is to shoot the wounded when the battle is over and they've a paradoxial view about this problem and it's problem with practical terms that the people in the middle are the ones that get a few points maybe a years ago. get budget deals under reagan and the 90 under clinton and gingrich and when those people disappear and you have the employ pauper meant of the coalition that makes a practical side more hard to achieve. i'll mention to two things. one problem is you like the old family bell model of famous old book on american politics from 50 some years ago and he described a party dynamic that's now out of favor. you have the sun and the moon party and one is dominant and the moon party in his or it has to adopt to survive and have another day.
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i think that describes the world of the new deal era. where jeff points out of ten with the civil rights act and new deal policies to improve them and in some ways limit them and so forth. what's happening is conservative republicans that's a redone sun said no to the wrap up of the government. on other hand, we have this volatile electorate. i don't think we've seen elections like the others with the big swings. now you might say, we only have full two moon parties. what happens right now is you know we have said congress has seven approval ratings and there's 97 percent re-election rate. people hate congress but love their own congress person. if what republicans are doing in
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the house is that deeply unpopular they'll get clobbered by the voters. on the other hand ultimately the voters have to decide this and i want to blame independents but i wish they would be forced to pick a side and stick it with for a while then you would have a stable governing majority of one side of the other and that would restore the dynam oifk people that want to get things done. i can say more but i'll stop there. >> say something about reagan. maybe how he governed in california before he governed at in washington. >> yeah. i mean i think one of the many great lessons is he was a practical prudent. i'll even call him the statesman. this is why. he had deep ideological views but he also understood you can't govern as an executive without having all wings of the party represented. i think i counted 17 or 18
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senators. elected in 1981. when he became governor of california and beat george christopher he brought in most of his people to his campaign including that rockefeller republican named wine burger that supported christopher against reagan. so during the 80's you have the ideological split and the whole washington game going on and there was an interesting mutual attraction going on there between the hard-core conservatives and the people in the media. they played this up and got the leaks from various side and the conservatives love to talk about the split too and there were differences of opinion and the news media wouldn't set next to the darwin people and reagan replicated what he did in california understanding you can't govern the country with only one faction of your party. that's one of the many things he didn't talk about openly.
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it was an instinct he had that was perceived. he didn't like people disagreeing in nlt from of him. but i think there's a deeper prudence at work there and this is an interesting problem of you know, are there moderate conservative democrats and moderate liberals available for administrations now and that i think is a problem you've seen in the current administration and the previous one. i'll stop there. >> so dan, maybe you can take our story little more up to the present. you've been covering washington's campaigns in congress. can you tell us how your view of the republican party has changed since you started covering it two or three years ago. >> i feel we've been covering the story since i came to washington which was in the middle 70's. the only thing that's changed is
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the side size of the moderate wing gets smaller and smaller but we talk about it's demise. i feel like the mainstream is in the edge of bloggers and there's going to be what happened many mainstream video on how to cover politics in washington. we're still trying to do the look at all sides. you know as i was thinking about the kind of ark of what's happening, you can go through there's no singular moment that you can say this tipped it but there were a series of things that happened over the last couple of decades. brown, brownstein and i did a book back in the mid 90's and the republican take over of congress in 94 and if you think back into that period. there's one irony that jeff talks about in his book that is that newt gingrich was put in the leadership largely because of the help of moderate
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republicans and yet it was during the gingrich period that i think there was in many way as decisive turn in this evolution that we continue to look at today. a couple of points. one was the budget deal in 1990 when gingrich bolted from the rest of the republican leader ship and left the white house in anger when they renounceed the deal and went up and organized the forces to try to knock it down and i think that was a critical moment in which the conservative antiestablishment part of the republican party in congress began to flex it's muscles in a much more significant way and we then saw in 1992. i remember doing an interview with tom delay after the 1992 election and i asked him what was the feeling of those who were looking to build a republican party. on the night that georgehw bush
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lost his party and he said was fabulous. this view was this was a moment of deliberation for those that wanted to go for a much harder edged much more confrontational much more conservative approach to the way the republican where is going to operate in congress. 1994 was obviously decisive in that it brought back down to the congressional level what we'd seen at the presidential level that was southernization of the republican party and that created the coalition that was big enough to turn republicans into a majority in congress and so for a short period of time it was viewed within the republican party as kind of a culmination of a series of forces that had finally started with gold water and through reagan and gave the republican as boos built of becoming the dominant party over a longer period of time. obviously when you have something like that there's a
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reaction and that was in the northeast it was difficult for republican candidates to go along with what the national republican party now a southern based party was advocating. you saw a further gap and moderate republicans much more on the defensive. i think that ironically, you know the last piece of this has been in the last few years or the most current piece with the tea party movement we a scribe much of that to the election of barack obama and the reaction to that. but i think there's also a piece of that that is related to the presidency of george w. bush who you know campaigned in 2000 using house republican as a foil and to try to suggest that he was a different kind of republican. a passionate conservative republican that i suppose is close as he was willing to say i'm more moderate conservative
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as apposed to hard-core conservative. but as we know in the latter stages of the bush presidency a lot of consider conversation base was in spend and the side he was taking. over the last couple of years there was a revolt underway within the republican base action act accelerated with the healthcare package and it has created this huge gulf. i'll make one other point and then stop. this is not unrelated to the general whomogenizing of both parties we think of modern republicans and competitinserva democrats. we don't have that because
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voters have sorted themselves out if you're a republican 95 percent of the time you vote for a republican candidate so there's much less mixing and matching among the electorate and that's encouraged the widening of the gap and in particular with the wings more dominant in the middle. >> i'll open up to the rest of the panel. we have a recent book all of us know. who have come out in the last few days with a title that's worse than you think. but the headline of that book has been, yes, yes there's polarization in both parties but really it's much more scant in the republican party and the problem is with the republican party. do you agree with that? a symmetric polarization. is one party more polarized or is the republican much more or do you see more of a balance between the two?
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>> i think at this point the republican is more confrontational and resistant to anything the president has tried to do. you can make an argument the same thing happened when president clinton was elected and instead of doing some of the things he talked about as a candidate marginally welfare reform went down another track. to the congressional leadership and took a more progressive liberal approach to some of the things he was trying to do and the republicans said we're going to fight against that. if you remember his budget plan in 1993 went through without a single republican vote as i recall. not that this is totally unreasonable but i think the election of the tea party freshman robert draper has a new book called do not ask what good we can do- is about the
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republicans since 2010. and it just talks about the kind of conviction that is now there within the republican base and the tea party side of it and i think it is a much harder thing, as we've seen speaker baner try to work through that not terribly successfully. i think there is right now in the republican party a harder edge about it. we don't know if you had a republican president in the equivalent in the democratic party of a democratic majority on one side if we could see that same thing. but i think at this point it's more heavily on republican side. >> anyone else want to address that? >> i feel myself nodding with steve and i don't want this to happen. it's often forgot ten inspiration for today's conservative movement the communist party. the fact is that the principal
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strategist of the conservative movement did take a lot of his tactical inspiration from battling communists with the american vet rans committee at or after world war two. this block voting. bullet voting. diamond formation used to, there's a whole array of tactics both fair and foul that can try to take advantageous of the larger power. over the years the success of the syndicate the operation that white and rusher had experienced success with the gold water movement and became the backbone of a lot of conservative campaign. real problem is it's much better than knowing what to do with power once it has it. indeed the role of the society was great with coming up with innovative republican policies. not so good at achieving you another winning elections or
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getting these things implementing. richard nixon knew they were both have ofs of the republican soul. i think you still see this problem perhaps accelerating where conservatives are great in knocking down everything they don't believe in but this leaves them in almost annihilation existence. >> i'm going to disappoint you. because i agree with what you said. the one part of it that you guys got the elephant leg that thinks is a tree. anyway, and republicans don't know how to govern. there's some truth to that. i complain about that a lot. that goes to a disjunction of whether they may be able to win elections. they can do that now and then. where they can command a majority of public opinions to support some of their more serious ideas is doubtful and a
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lot of them resist that confronting open and honesty. ray gans prudence. he got his head handed to him early on and had he tried again he would not have had the great popularity votes. lately i've been thinking about thought permanents and i wonder if the current president and last president have not been tripped up by historical contingencies that you can never eliminate from you're thinking. permanent for bush. suppose you didn't have the florida disaster. and two, you hadn't had 911. what if he'd been a domestic policy president and no child left behind and taxes and you can argue forever. you can't know how it might have turned out but it might have turned out differently. i tend to give obama a pass to a
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large degree for this- reason. he's handled the financial crisis before. the economic crisis we've been looking at for two or three years. and then did it. and obama suddenly handed the crisis and then you get tarp and then you get the stimulus and then you're back to what you want to do which is healthcare. by that point. what will obama's presidency be if he had a normal election campaign and normal beginning of administration. i do wonder if we haven't gone through a particularly unusual period of time that haven't seen since the really great depression maybe. i don't know if that's germaine or not but i think it might be. >> the thought of the experimenting suggested. last week i was at the bob dole institute. question for the panel was how would nixon be remembered
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without watergate? >> well that took some real experimenting. >> now how would lincoln be remembered without the civil war. [laughing] >> yeah. >> can i just sort of add a comment. back to the closer to the main theme. there was something that when clinton was elected that was real and you and problematic and he was a baby boomer from the hippy side of the 60's. you had a culture war access in the whole clinton thing going on. one of the obama's. post baby boomer. so even what i was saying what if the guys hadn't had the cadural contingencies. there's this thing going on with clinton and now with obama too. not quite the same because he doesn't come out of the 60's scene quite as much but that's a difficult problem that may go for a long time until all of us
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baby boomers croak. >> i'm going to ask a question. one more historical question. and that is especially to jeff but perhaps to lee. do moderate republicans see themselves as taken over the party or more that they thought they should be a balancing wing that your book i think makes little bit of both cases. which is it? was there a path to as some thought, a new southern coalition maybe the republicans could get. some african-american votes and other coalitions that would change the republican party or was there's a conservative wing that had to be preserved? >> i'm going to tell you, some of the one. a lot of people on one side of
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the aisle object to indiepend e independences and moderates. i would actually say that moderation was something and stood for something in the 1960's during this time. it wanted so see positions but wasn't so glad about taking power. before a think tank before the term not really something that's going to stir things up at the grass roots but the positions it wanted to see was internationalism and decent realization verses central psychs that characterized the johnson administration and it wanted to see less of an emphasis on bur okay kra si and more on republican responsibilities perhaps towards more the voluntary sector and kind of temperamental
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conservative. my book is trying perhaps to be too caught by making one of the major villains rockefeller and one of it's principal characters buckner. buck lee was working towards some kind of understanding with them. there's a quote i came across in the heap of bill buckl ye personal letters he said i recently negotiated with my 15-year-old son which regarding usually contain weapons but i found myself not tell poreizing but calculating and figuring and reckoning. i think it's part of the conservative function to do that and this the kind of moderate middle ground small and moderate perhaps that some of the conservative size and the moderate conservative were working towards. there was a lot of working
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arrangements. they largely brought you some economics or alumni did. the other where is further ahead as were the conservatives and i think at most the moderates kind of m hoped to have a more big tent conservatives. i wanted their ideas to prevail and often they succeeded. >> there's a take on that that i think is useful. i remember some of our colleagues saying these questions are pretty complicated in the modern world and deserve to be aired and debated within both parties not just between so i think role was to ensure a lively debate within one of the parties within the republican party hoping that would then contribute to a broader and
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wiser debate between the major parties. i think, now i'll express a bias suppose. i think that in policy terms. i wouldn't say in rhetoric but in policy terms, the moderate philosophy did govern the republican party during the next on years. nixon without watergate and i agree that's hard to imagine. nixon said he'd be remembered for two things. china and watergate. one good, one bad one near the end of his life. i think if watergate were not there and i'm saying it, not saying it shouldn't be. i think nixon was one person and "watergate" was one side of nixon. it wasn't just china that was the first reduction in arms treaty of the nuclear age with the soviet union but mideastern
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policy. it was so many things on the domestic side it's hard to list them all. we have a class about nixon in part that lists 29 domestic initiatives people have forgot energy. beginning with the first real bold environmental legislation. people can say others initiating this or nixon was delegate together advisors or had to do it. he embraced it. school segregation went miles down the road during the first two years of the nixon administration. nixon could it tom wicker in his book describes it's a rowing with muffled ors and not making a big fuss but getting it done. 80 percent of dual school districts where a single race districts. single school districts after two years.
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so-so spending. human resource spending exceeded the defense budget for the first time since world war ii under nixon. those were things that he got done. the whole revenue sharing. federalism set of concepts were brought in. three things he did not get done. are really relevant today. one of course that people think of quickly sometimes. john talked about this was welfare reform. guaranteed annual income. i can use that phrase. negative income tax that passed house and then got hung up in the senate and never came out. truly liberal republican idea i would argue. had work rymers and nixon describes some of these and in a language that sometimes obscured it's boldness but that was one. and then second one was economic
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policy. closing the gold win to was scant in 1971 and really changed nature of international economics completely. ron paul, will argue that's the worse that can happen but at the same time nixon proposed price controls that they talked about. didn't work well but he was going to try it. the third thing and this is that nixon's i said this so often. nixon's health insurance plan went beyond obama's. i worked on it a bit and have gone back and read. talked to jim cavanaugh and it included and bragged about and centered on the individual
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mandate. ted kennedy said before he died there was a big mistake he made in the senate not supporting a healthcare plan. now we're being told the individual mandate may be unconstitutional. now you can go to another list of the volunteer army and the end to draft and reform and health and safety act. 29 item list. i think that the part of the republicans stems in part of the great moderate thrust that had come down through the decades was interrupted and discredited by water gate. nixon couldn't really pass on that legacy. obama cannot sight nixon as an example. there's a whole tradition that sort of is off limits and i think that is an another of the costs of watergate.
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>> could i pick up on that? the reciting of nixon's domestic accomplishments bring as comment made by stanton evans that said there's only two things i don't like about nixon administration. domestic policy and it's foreign policy. >> [laughing] but one of the great engineers pals is one of my themes that i haven't brought it happens the homogenizing starting with buckly in 67. they were alarmed at what happened johnson. a mob of radcliff girl us was his flamboyant phrase and stability and things brought up. idea at milton friedman said close to what i have in mind. passes the house but dies in the senate and from two sides. ronald reagan i discovered quite by surprise lobbied heavily
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against it in ways that surprised me in how thick the file was and secondly, the left was against it. i talked to some, wasn't enough. right? and i got the quotes in one of my book. gene maccarthy says you can't even discuss this thing now and now you get to the mcgovern years and some people say reagan was not an array gann i.t.e and republican to load. jeff you pointed out the rise of the direct primary that empowered and sort of went to the extremism on both sides if you had the old smoke filled rooms we want to get rid of because of reform you can conserve more of a breath in the party and nationalization breaks down some of those and that is a big problem. but yeah. you put your finger on the right thing but that's the key
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dividing line. nixon told buckly is, doesn't quite make sense. i remember you can't run with only the right wing and when i ran for governor you can't run without them and he had that understanding. >> right to winning the nomination and left to the election. called himself after pragmatic liberal. and you know i have one memory of him and i think worst moment in terms of moderate dominance of politics. merry gold water at the san francisco convention in the 64 extreme liberal is and defensive is no advice and moderation. richard nixon had just introduced gold water and was sitting right behind him with a wonderful introduction. mr. conservative and this man is known as mr. conservative. today he becomes known as mr.
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republican and in november we'll call him mr. president. as he sits down gold water starts with what nixon later calls rubbing salt in the wounds of any moderates. and nixon carefully in that spotlight did not draw that line. he very much - i had come to know him by then was very much starting to fix a come back and just couldn't. he had to did support the ticket but he was not kwoipg to be drawn into that that kind of radical conservative. got in a conversation with gold water's son. just to single. nixon always wanted to play to a broad party base and prove as inclusive as he could and sometimes his lack of sp
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spontaneity made that awkward. reminds me of a current candidate trying to do that. >> nice transition. out on the campaign trail following many republicans around but especially our soon to be nominee and of course, there are questions about mitt romney's past positions and past governing of massachusetts but i want to open that up later to the panel about his father. his lineage has an important moderate father that was a moderate - your candidate in 1968. can you tell me about his own passion and also his lineage and what that says about how he might govern? >> guess only way to describe the relationship is awkward. you know if you look at the romney who ran against teddy
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kennedy and romney that ran today they could be running against one another and it's hard to know at this point which one would prevail but somewhere in between there is the real mitt romney and i think we'll find out more through the general election where he wants to come down. through this whole discussion i mean the kind of, elephant in the room if you will is how did this party that we're talking about that has you know, lost every shred of moderation which there is no moderate wing end up nominating a person like mitt romney to be it's presidential candidate this year. now you can say he was blessed with a terribly weak field that's certainly true. you could say he had more money than anybody else and so the weapons that he was able to bring to bear against whoever popped up
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at any given moment were far greater than that person had to defend himself as they were going through it. but also it's you know a reality that what romney decided to do or felt he had to do was become more like the party of today. at least in some nominal ways to get himself the nomination and we will see at this point whether just how costly that is in the general election. the most obvious places what he's done on immigration where he went much further to the right than most people i believe think he needed to. but well, i think that, i think that if you step back and try to put yourself in the shoes of the romney campaign i think they believe that rick perry was going to be a real tough opponent and in anyway as much more natural nomination than mitt romney would have been.
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they took the perry campaign in a way i don't think they'd taken anybody up to that point quite as seriously and they took that seriously and felt they had to knock him down. there were things they did in the first debate at the reagan library on social security but i think they felt the immigration piece was one where they could make him fterribly vulnerable t the base and then they went further through the course of the campaign. the c romney that has emerge sa diego someone that's tried to be comfortable with a tea party, republican party and yet, as you watch him and listen to him and just the sort of general demeanor tells you that's not quite who he is and think the struggle he'll go through over the next several months is trying to present himself in the most comfortable way possible to keep the base of the republican party energized. i'm opening it up to the
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audience if you could identify yourself we'll start here in the back. >> bueller. i'm originally from california. and my question is, one of the things that wasn't mentioned here was the new open primary law that passed by initiative in california this last year. which essentially puts the top two people on the ballot and practically empowered indianas and now the parties will have to compete not just against the partisans in their own party registration use but with dependents and california sends more than 10% of the delegation to congress. how do you think that will impact moderation both in the republican party and in the democratic party. >> fellow californian. i think it depends in part on how the lines are drawn. i
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haven't followed that. we have this crazy commission thing. 1990 california had two things happen. past term limits. and then you also had because of the deadlock between the republican and special masters through drew the districts the way you would do it in a textbook. continuing cities and towns. two assemblies in size and my observation was, again, difficult years especially the first half of the decade. but reached compromise with democratic legislature. you had a lot more moderate democracy crde democrats. as apposed to the gehry planneder where they were heavily skewed either way but in each one you had the interest groups and the sort of extra party machinery assembly.
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you know those guys well that dominate the process and a lot of democratic side. and again like my cousin wall observation is gone for a while but you see the old polarization. and in this decade where as the 90's stand all the and more than one thing but i think it was actually having a seriously conservative district and you saw a few in the congressional seats. couple of moderate republican rres and that sort of thing. >> i think they were largely behind that. hewlett packard. maybe some dominated california politics when they that ability to run in the democratic primary. as well as republican primaries. >> nixon won both primaries as well. >> he did? i just quickly have to say i have great hopes for the
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california reform. maybe my hopes are much too high lu it seems that might encourage people to play to the center but the two together that just redistricting element and the two winner element. >> i'm more skeptical on whether it'll bring about the changes a lot of people anticipate or the proponents of it claim or hope. the point here the republican party in california is so different than it was historically. mostly because it's so small and has been so unsuccessful with the obvious exception of schwarzenegger and the odd recall election becoming governor of being able to win statewide elections getting anybody elect at the statewide election. their record is terrible over the last decade so i think until you build a more viable republican party, it's going to be hard to see this play out in the way the proponents
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anticipate. >> ron? >> ron brown. question for everybody but maybe start with jeff and leave you rootd to this. what was the impact on conservatives of having a scant moderate wing in the republican party and for that matter the conservative wing in the democratic party. the congress or reagan administration. there were a lot of different factions in the wing and the party, how's that effect the way the choices were made when the decision where is de dbated witn the parties. >> jeff, sure. i think conservatives had to think about what was going to appeal to people in their party and then to go on the to sell it to the broader public as well. this actually i think disciplined conservatives and made them realize the need to
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persuade people up of their views rather than rally the troupes and impose it. here again someone not the greatest single vote geter in the 1996 election. robert finch. richard nixon's best friend and the only man's who's opinions on politics reagan respected and i think he saw the need from after the gold water defeat that if republican where is going to triumph it had to be a big ten party and make the case for an affirmative conservatism that could solve some of the nation's parties. >> we talked about how the rhetoric was considered and it was fairly in the 80's. sometimes referred as 11th commandment i shall not speak ill of another.
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but it not just the philosophy but just to do that. >> to plug how is the book coming out on william buckly. >> thank you. >> is this on? from new jersey recently. in jeff's book he talks about the one of the attributes one of the moderate's demise to their in ability or lack of interest in doing precinct work. organization ability and conservatives taking over the party machinery which they never relinquished. you had about a third of the senate call themselves moderate republicans with 2 dozen govern nor ships. the same story from maine to maryland and they couldn't find a state without one or two republican senators or governors. why are they so allergic to doing precinct work and is there
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any reason for this and do they have any appeal at all. nixon majority were not all against the new deal or rockefeller voter. there's seems to be no connection between liberal republicans and what we call reagan democrats. reagan may not have been the leading vote geter in california but he won by a million vote and we didn't see a lot of them. i wonder if they're going to learn how to give out fliers or do the social networking and all the stuff we see obama and the tea party doing now. where they are? >> moderates are often less passionate. this our original society complaint. when you're carefully looking at both sides of the issue you see the pastel shades and probably
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get less excited about that. conservatives have had various. i think jeff talks about margeization. driving this energy and almost desperate effort to get back in control or leave and was always the threat of leaving that i think helped too. also add insurance their cause. i don't think many moderates had that. maybe on the civil rights issue. in the 60's that was there. i think one element we haven't mentioned that has helped to make this disparity even more intense is the rise of the religious right and propelling a lot of that motion on the conservative side of the spectrum and the unusual dedication of energy. what's the right word? yes.
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sense that everything hangs on this. my own identity in life. moderates had other lives. to do with any of us involved. wound up doing other things. i wound up leaving country for a couple of decades. i think that's one, one dimension of the fact that that's there. >> another founding member had a great quote that's moderates are moderate. you have to raise the sword of moderation. waving the bloody shirt of moderation and it's just a contradiction in term. the thing about moderates is they have doubts and see the world in shade of gray. if you have no doubts whether political or religious uncertainty you're going to do what you can to prevail. you'll make the personal investment of your time and passion to see that the tribute prevails. moderates hope for the best and fit doesn't work out, that's okay too. i think there's another aspect
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of this allen and that's if we now talk about the moderates as this employ battled narrow band always fighting for survival if you think of it the other way. moderates were in many ways the establishment and every moechlt that intended to crack the accomplishment had to do it from the bottom up. this was the absence of the gold water movement. he had to organize the grass roots. the religious right. now the tea party. in all cases. any effort on the part of conservatives to battle the establishment has had to go through the brgrass roots. not that moderate where is immune to doing this, think never really had to. they assumed they were the historical basis of the historical party. >> one quick observation.
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i think individuals make a great deal of differences. one of the problems for the moderates they didn't have thomas dewy anymore. he got them to take over the party apparatus and this whole perspective. >> and nixon talked about picks it up. even if he had been able to i taught he would have. watergate disqualified him from doing that. >> thank you very much. john price. the question looks more to the future than to the past. we spoke about how the moderate's were marginal sized in both maparties and how this internet based third way. i wondered whether it is time at last to think about the demise
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of the wigs and the metamorphosis of the wigs and the establishment or the grass roots or moderates are going to take the initiative which will eventually lead to a more that party. >> third party prospectives where the o moderation sentiments might be going? >> no, in short. we have a two party system, we're stuck with it and it's not going to change for reasons i can get into but that's the basic answer. i think parties get taken over from within. my book is a bit provacative. you can call tell replacement with the old coalition with a new conservative party because the republican party is now the party in all but name. significant impacts is probably through one of the two parties. >> i have a kwquick one sentenc
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comment. >> both parties went to extremes but clinton and obama chose to pre employment and that means they get unlike to happen this yea year. >> we're not going to tell you from here. with this wrinkle you do have more people unaffiliating with registration of the party. i'm sure most lean pretty heavily one way or the other. we saw the angry middle. mad at both parties and their champion unfortunately was ross perot. not exactly an extreme and certain other ways. flawed messenger. i talked about the radical historical contingency. i suppose we could face three or four years from now especially if you have a divide government, which voters some seem to like
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to some extent. seems to replace separation of powers at some level and we have european style financial crisis where the markets opinion and this town can't fix it. it would be someone like bloomberg and that's the only possibility. in the whole system operates making it almost impossible for that to succeed. energy is still within the basis of the two parties and not two party movement. the ingredients with this are there but i don't see it having
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critical mass to rise up at this point. >> valid access thing that's going to fold and put somebody on the ballot but that somebody accepted to go on. hidden factor in the election proces process. >> i was once a conservative and i campaigned for gold water. i was a member of young republicans. american conservative union and then i went to vietnam. and that changed my mind. campaign for howard baker used to be on the dc republican commit me commit metee. i saw him the next day and voted for him and i can say that proudly.
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no labels are around. that's almost in between now public relations person. how does it come back because a lot of us think that democratics are too i hate to say this word libera
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liberal. >> sure high not. the poles say there's still imagii millions out there. moderates are also pluralty depending on which pole you choose and yet they don't feel that there are preferences. largely in due to the system we have. attending towards ideological ideas. vehicles and people that tend to feel left out. the term generation excomes from a paul copeland's novel but he takes it from the x-class. people that don't fit and are eclectic who's views come from a lot of different sources and they don't fit and that was the thing. charles way len was both one of
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the hard lined anti-abortion activity activities from in the house. people that feel eclectic have an increasingly hard time. >> can i just add a thought to this about, wild propositions. i think it may be a moderate wing that's being reborn and been there in all along in the president nomination. after reagan. bush, dole, another bush and john mccain that talks to known democrats and now mitt romney, right? these are not the - how come we can't get another ronald reagan. i really need to develop a three this. among the republican party that's been executive oriented party for a long time and the democratic party for a variety of reasons is more delegislativy
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dominated and that's why they run better than republicans can. there's one reason now where your especially suppose to the extremisms that control the house which is the chamber. newt gingrich is unthinkable if he'd been senator i think. in my observation you have to go after term limits and watch the assembly which was always food fight in california. the assembly of the state was passed by one vote and the senate would pass nearly unanimously. after your six years throughout the assembly and a couple of cases someone would be gentile and start throwing food fights again. that's kind of the nature of our institutions that we design them on purpose, right? i think you're seeing a historical pattern that republicans tend to gravitate to people more moderate of temperament i think. bob dole.
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certainly rom me. while the legislative wing is more reflective of the grass roots. >> this question of where moderate conservatives go. much to the disappointment of the further left, obama has certainly been pulled to the center and i think, and supported by a lot of people in this election and much of them that depend on that left centralism and where we finally go but i think obama is clear to want to pre employmempt the cen. >> i want too ask if we're seeing a slight return to prague material iprague materialism. we're starting to see heather wilson and chris shays coming from behind in connecticut.
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could there actually be accounter wave going on after the 2010 election where we failed take the senate? >> oh. i would say minimally, we may look back and say 2010 was the peek for the tea party and both it's influence good and bad on the republican party but there is not a lot that suggests that the party is in anyway kind of ebbing way from being as conservative as it's been. we may see some individual cases where that is the case but i don't think as a general proposition but these things do haves as i said in opening remarks the parties do adjust to success and failure. and if the republicans you know lose a bunch of seats in the
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house and romney loses there will be a period of reflection a and a krim nation and also as individual contenders want to position themselves 2014 perhaps others saying way we did it in 2010 and the way we tried in 2012 is not the way. we have to move little bit back to the right little more toward the center and you have to see individually on that. but these elections will have an influence on the direction of the party. >> last question right here. >> i don't think you - i don't think any of you have addressed where i have read, there's a going tendency for rejecting party identification. on either side. the growth of the independents and is that - if we look hard at the figures don't we see that
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increasing? what impact do you think that will all have? >> we see that statistically and you see it in the poles and registration that the fastest growing group is also declined to stay. no party or independent and yet, in a practical way, people aren't behaving that way which i think is the most important factor in the politics today. people may say i'm independent because they have pulled a way from kind of the institutional party at least in the personal identification but i think this is a much more polarized directive and continues to be. i don't think the growth in percentage of people identifying themselves has any material effect in the way they've behaveed in the ballot box. >> the second what dan say as number of independents has grown but most are strongly aligned with one party or another.
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especially on the republican side a independent that leans republican are more likely to vote republican. >> labeled in a more conservative position. >> just because you're independent doesn't mean your moderate in the middle and there's a slice often percent. people argue about the number of who might be perfectly persuadeable and don't lean one way or the other. >> moderator is why are more people wanting to say what's a private matter. what party affiliation you are you can look it up and seemsej needs to write an update of why americans hate politics i think a lot of them do. people that have political opinions that are strongly politicized say why would i want to be affiliated both or either party. that's something that has i
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think lots of consequences. i'll stop there. >> on that optimistle note we'll end and thank our panels. [applause] tomorrow on washington your. radio talk show host armstrong williams discusses themes and issues of the 2012 campaigns. georgetown's university on education in the workforce looked for current job market for college graduates and conservative activist talks about the john williams pope
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foundation. private grand making foundation that gives approximately ten million a year to support public policy. cultural and humanitarian efforts. washington journal live at 7 am eastern, on c-span. [applause] new this week, live from london the ceremony and pageantry of the state opening of parliament. until recently it's official opening was held usually at the end of the year with changes to the election rules, it's now been moved to the spring and wednesday queen elizabeth will form early outline the priorities for the year. live coverage at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> next. q&a with pulitzer